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The Economic Value of History

History is just old facts relating to the socio-cultural significances without economic value. It is the science of reconstructing the civilization of the past, which had been forgotten and buried from modern life. That is why many Indonesian do not appreciate the history. Look, in this country only a few universities have departments of history, do not draw with this country that has a long history, divided into dozens period with a variety of local history as this nation is made up of hundreds of tribes.

But it is different if history is associated with existing artifacts such as buildings or sites. At this point history has economic potential if developed in conjunction with the tourism science. The existence of old buildings, palaces and temples show that history is alive. That is why a lot of the old city that its old buildings are still complete boldly declared her as "a living museum".

Tourism is a very lucrative business for the inbound State or visited by tourists. During the stay of tourists, dollars will be spent on the hotel, transportation, tourism attractions, and restaurants. The question is, what do the motivation of the tourists come to a place? There are various motivations: they want to enjoy the natural scenery and adventure like hiking, surfing, and rafting. However not all the motivation of tourists come to a destination because of the natural landscape, they visit a place due to its historical buildings such as Borobudur and complexes of temples in Central Java and Yogyakarta.

Tourists flock to Rome not because of its landscapes and white beaches for sunbathing, but old buildings throughout the city that has amazing value of history. Tourists come to Pompeii, the city that was destroyed in 79 AD because Vesuvius erupting mountain, to enjoy the ruin and the reconstruction of the building in the picture, packed in the historical frame of the town which is very impressive. There, tourists get to know the city's sanitation system that has been advanced in that time.

The ruins in Pompeii, Colosseo, or Foro Romano (Roman Forum) in Rome have no function, but he got a new meaning in tourism. They have economic value where tourists come to Italy and stay in Rome to enjoy the ruins and its history. The ruins has a valuable place in the city, thus became the center of tourism activities that have economic importance for the city. Does the old city of Jakarta not have historical ruins that if managed properly will give economic value to the city?

It is different from the Universal Studio in Singapore or Hong Kong’s Disneyland that suck in tourists with artificial tourist attractions. Ruins, old buildings and history such as in Rome and Pompeii draw tourists organically as a visitor attraction. Disneyland and Universal Studio should renew its tourist attractions, if they do not want tourist visited them just once. Tourism in the old town with its history will be visited many times by tourists because they want to get the old atmosphere that has historical value. They want to stay as long as possible because the atmosphere in the city of Rome is not present in their hometown that is completely new, modern, and perhaps as well as slum.

Do we not have the historic towns? The answer is yes, but the old building has been replaced with new buildings so that people do not know the antiquity and unable to identify its history. Look at the fact that the Harmony art center of Jakarta has gone, tourists only know from its pictures. The history and artifacts of the building had to be occurred together to attract tourists.

Old Jakarta visited by foreign tourists because of its old building and history. But history without old buildings will not be interesting at all. At this point the economic value of the old town's history is very important. History is part of human life. Destroying or abandoning the old building is to eliminate the history that finally abolish economic value in the old city.

Jakarta still has some old buildings, if planned well will have a high economic value. All depends on the government's role in preserving old buildings. It is clear that preservation of ancient buildings cannot be handed to the private sector's role as they preserving only some piece of the old city for their economic interests. The task of restoring ancient buildings is the duty of the government that should handle the old city as a whole at unlimited cost. The old city planning is not a patchwork planning with a low cost, yet thorough planning.

Is it possible? The government should be able to do that because the value of history is the identity of a great nation.

Amphitheater in Pompeii
Ampitheater in Pompeii